“Can the Church Be Saved?” Our attention has been drawn to a lengthy article under the above title in an edition of Time Magazine in April 2002. The body referred to is the Church of Rome and the reason for the question is the allegation of widespread abuse of minors by priests in the United States and of cover-up by the hierarchy, with resulting disillusion on the part of many Romanists, as some of these cases have come to light in the civil courts. Similar situations have been exposed in other countries, including the United Kingdom, Poland, France and Ireland, where a £77 million payment was made earlier this year to persons abused as children by priests. No doubt many individual Romanists abhor the kind of behaviour referred to and the attempt to cover it up. But it has to be recognised that, while Romanist clerics may take a public stand on behalf of morality in certain areas of life, Romanism is not a religion which produces or promotes holiness in the hearts and lives of its followers. It is not merely that the priests are required to live in a state of celibacy. The priesthood itself, composed of unregenerate men whose very office involves the living of a lie, with its false claim to powers of mediation and miracle, is part of the wider deception of Romanism. This obscures and contradicts the saving truths of the gospel, which have a sanctifying effect on those who receive them. Sadly, even truly Protestant Churches have to acknowledge the inconsistencies which bring reproach upon them at times. But serious attention should be paid to William Cunningham’s sober conclusion, as he viewed the development of Romanism up to the Reformation, and indeed since: “It is fitted, if not designed, to frustrate the great objects of Christianity as a revelation of God’s will, while yet professing to acknowledge its divine origin and authority; and to bring back upon the world almost all the evils, in a religious and moral point of view, of the heathenism and the corrupted Judaism that prevailed at the time of our Saviour’s appearance upon earth”. Viewing the popish system as Satan’s “great masterpiece”, he saw the reason for its success in the fact that “as a system, in place of being fitted and designed to eradicate or correct the depraved tendencies of human nature towards superstition, vicarious religion, pious frauds, reliance on human authority, persecution, etc, it consecrates, confirms and perpetuates them; whereas the general object and result of Protestantism, as a system, are directly the reverse”. Given this understanding of what gives Romanism its power over men we can concur with Cunningham’s further conclusion: “That apostate and antichristian system will henceforth continue to hold a most prominent and influential place . . . until the Lord shall consume it with the breath of His mouth, and destroy it with the brightness of His coming”. That is how we would answer the question in the title of this note.